British Holiday Chapter 4: Parks, Pubs and Rugby

I'm really very slow at writing these. This time I'm going to cover 2 days. They were pretty light days. Walked in some parks, went to some shops and pub, and watched the rugby back at the flat. It was big rugby: Wales took the triple crown. So let's get this post going. It's mostly pictures.

So... every time I saw BT Tower I took a picture. It's probably because I'm this much of a nerd.

Here's the first of many. You have to admit, it's a crazy old thing.
BT Tower
This was taken from outside of Paddington Street Gardens. The adroit reader and London native will wonder how you come to be passing Paddington Street Gardens on your way from Baker Street station to Regents park. We can put it down purely to my abysmal sense of direction.

But we got to the park eventually. It had some gilt gates. Looking at them now they seem ostentatious in the extreme. The day after Paris they looked subdued. Almost plain.
Giltgate at Regents Park
Oh, did you know you can see BT Tower from Regents park? You do now.
BT Tower (again)
Also, there's these weird nobbles. I think they're probably basal shoots from the pine trees, but I could just be making shit up to sound smart. So never mind that bollocks. Look! Squirrel Drinking! Awwww.

Squirrel Drinking
And here we have a blurry picture of a Crazy Footed Quack Swangler. I could be wrong on the name. But, those feet are cray cray. You've got to give me that.
Weird Footed Bird
And so leaving Regents Park we headed down to Daunt Books. It is beautiful. It's a travel bookstore, so mostly travel books. But they have some fiction and other kinds of non-fiction that have pretty tenuous links to travel. I picked up a book about William Smith, the geology one. (Remember how I admitted to being a nerd earlier? Yeah...)
Daunt Books
Incidentally, Daunt is a block away from Paddington Street Gardens. If you let me navigate, be sure to wear good, comfortable walking shoes.

From there it was easy, even for me, to find the Nordic Bakery. A recommendation from santos.
Nordic Bakery
Santos had sent Rakka on a mission to sample the Rustic Oatmeal Cookie. It was good, but it didn't change my life.
Rustic Oatmeal Cookie
Of course, asking food to change your life is a pretty stupid thing to do. You just have to eat it so you don't die. Everything else is gravy. Which is also food.

Anyway. Cheese and Pickle. That's more my speed. Yeah. A Nordic C&P has more in common with an american one than a British one. But not that much. Because all the ingredients we a) really nice, and b) Nordic. The pickles were sweet without being gross, the bread was chewy and crunchy at the same time. Good stuff, good stuff.
Cheese and Pickle, Nordic style
After this bit of fortification, I insisted we go to a pub. Time for more walking. At some point we passed Harley Street. Did you know you can see... yeah, you get it.
BT Tower from Harley Street
We ended up at the Clachan in Kingly Street. Which was a nice respit from the crowds around Oxford Circus.

The sat us right in the middle of the room, and me with my back to the place. I never take a lot of pictures in these situations. Too many shoulders to look over. I did get this nice one of salad. Yay lettuce!
Now this fish pie looks absolutely disgusting, I admit. My lack of skill and equipment for low light photography can only take some of the blame here. But none of that matters, because it was fantastic.
Fish Pie
Rakka had a Chicken and Mushroom Pie which was even better. She's been trying to recreate it ever since. (She pretty much nailed it it the other night. She is talented.)

Something about the crush of the crowd at rush hour on the way home lead to Rakka's infamous breaking of the Oyster Card incident. It contributed to an interesting morning in a days time. More on that next post. Now it's time for Iceland and Rugby.

Yeah, you heard right. Next day we went to Iceland in the basement of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre and stocked up on prepackaged food and some ridiculous 'cider' then went straight back to the flat to watch the Rugby.
Iceland Food
Our hosts were both out of town, so we had the place to our selves. Perfect for a day in watching a sport I'd never ever watched before. But it was the 6 nations game between Wales and France. We had just been to France, we were going to Wales the next day. It was calling out to be watched.

And It was a very good game. The high stakes and good coverage made it a quite enjoyable afternoon. I'd recommend watching that particular game live to anybody interested in getting in to Rugby. Too bad you missed it, sucker.

Ok, tomorrow (in triplog time) we leave for Cardiff. So here's a couple parting photos of Elephant & Castle.

This is what the neighborhood sort of looks like.
Elephant and Castle
In the above I was standing under the train bridge visible from this window.

Airbnb at Strata SE1
Quite a bit of contrast. Dressed appropriately for inside that room, I feel pretty conspicuous when walking around outside, especially once I got away from the tube stop. It's funny though, how the conspicuously overdressed tend to congregate in these situations.

I was out that last night grabbing a late night snack from the shop under the elephant on a pole that I keep posting pictures of, a shop chosen because it was under that elephant, when a girl dressed for the club came up to me and asked directions. She had to walk past 20 other people to get to me, the guy in the bright blue jumper. It didn't even matter that I was buying kebabs with change from a guy under an elephant. (As usual, this was all going well until my american accent and total ignorance of local geography showed me to be completely useless to her, so she went away again.)


santos. said...

my most favourite thing that has ever happened to me in london was in 1979: two punk rockers in full bondage plaid trousers/leather motorcycle jacket/mohawks passed by dozens of (presumably english) people, stopped in front of 11-year old me with a bad dorothy hamill-ish bob, wearing a polyester dress with little violet-embroidered peter pan collar and hanging out with my aunt, the nun, and asked me for the time. thrill of a lifetime!

leff said...

That is way better than my story. Well played santos....

santos. said...

oh no, your story is great. it's just a matter of timing. if your story occurred in 1979, it would've probably have gone down a lot more like mine.

leff said...

If only I could time travel I could win. That old guy in that video up top has all the fun.